London Fire Brigade reveals rise in handcuff callouts

Handcuffs and key - generic
Image caption Some 79 Londoners have become trapped in handcuffs since 2010

Firefighters in London have been called to assist people who have become stuck in objects such as handcuffs and toilet seats more than 1,300 times in the last three years.

London Fire Brigade said each instance cost taxpayers some £290, meaning the mishaps have cost at least £377,000.

Emergency callouts included incidents where men had their genitals stuck in a toaster and a vacuum cleaner.

The brigade urged people to think carefully before calling 999.

In 2010-11, crews attended 416 incidents in which people became trapped or stuck in objects.

In 2011-12 this rose to 441 and in 2012-13 it rose again, to 453.

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Media captionLondon Firefighter Mark Blomfield on why more 999 calls are from people stuck in handcuffs

The most common object people needed help to escape from was handcuffs, with 79 callouts since 2010.

Fifty Shades

Third Officer, Dave Brown, said: "Some of the incidents our firefighters are called out could be prevented with a little common sense.

"I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up.

"I'm sure most people will be Fifty Shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them."

The brigade advised people to always keep the keys handy if they used handcuffs.

Some 18 incidents involved children with their heads stuck in potties or toilet seats.

And children got their fingers stuck in toys 17 times - including one boy with a piece of lego stuck on his finger and another with his head in a tambourine.

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